Costs for Employer Health Coverage Rise More Slowly But Still Claim Growing Share of Wages

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The good news: premiums and deductibles for employer-provided health plans have increased more slowly in recent years. The bad news: workers’ wages aren’t keeping up with even this slower growth.<br /><br />
A new Commonwealth Fund issue brief out today finds that premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance grew 4.1 percent annually between 2010 and 2013, following passage of the Affordable Care Act, compared to 5.1 percent between 2003 and 2010, before the law was passed. Deductibles also rose more slowly.<br />
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But while premiums rose 60 percent overall between 2003 and 2013, U.S. workers’ incomes rose only 11 percent. The contributions employees make toward their health plan premiums, meanwhile, increased 93 percent over this period.<br />
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These recent slowdowns in health care cost growth are encouraging because they are happening even as the Affordable Care Act has given workers better health insurance coverage,” said The Commonwealth Fund’s Sara Collins, the study’s lead author. “However, health care costs are still growing faster than median income, and more clearly needs to be done to keep health insurance affordable for U.S. families.” Read the brief